What is a Bare Metal Server?
A bare metal server is a single-tenant, physical server made up of preconfigured and instantly-deployable resources. Since bare metal servers are single-tenant environments, the owner has full control over the server, and they can even choose how its resources are going to be used. Unlike shared hosting and VPS servers, the server owner does not share their hardware with other tenants.
Why Use a Bare Metal Server?
Here are five solid reasons why you need a bare metal server:
Bare metal servers are highly customizable. The owner has root access to the server, which allows for fine-tuning that is simply not possible on shared hosting plans. You can use this feature to split server resources into custom, virtual machines or just dedicate all resources to your application.
Another reason why you need a bare metal server instead of a shared or VPS server is their superior performance due to all of their resources being dedicated to one tenant - eliminating the “noisy neighbor” effect. Additionally, bare metal servers have significantly more resources at their disposal, improving performance even further.
Bare metal servers offer improved security. Your data is physically isolated from other servers and their tenants, which makes it significantly more difficult for an attacker to penetrate your systems and steal your data. With added custom firewall configurations, you can adjust the firewall settings according to your needs without impacting other tenants as your server is hosted in an isolated environment.
One of the most important features of bare metal servers is their reliability. Physical isolation from other users means that load spikes of other tenants, also known as the “noisy neighbor” effect, cannot reduce performance or cause downtime on a bare metal server.
Due to the customizable nature of bare metal servers and their relatively high price as compared to VPS or shared hosting, hosting providers usually have dedicated teams for managing these servers. Along with 24/7 support, troubleshooting issues that might arise from custom configurations is easier than ever.
Does a Bare Metal Server Perform Well?
Bare Metal vs Shared Hosting
When comparing shared vs VPS or bare metal, shared servers come with a lot of limitations. Due to a high number of tenants sharing one physical server, shared hosting offers inferior performance and little to no customizability when it comes to the operating system, hypervisor, and tech stacks. Furthermore, shared hosting servers offer no scaling.
If customizability and scalability are important to you, it is a sign that you need a bare metal server.
Bare Metal vs VPS
VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting offers significantly more customization than shared hosting, including the choice of operating system and the technology stack you would like to use. It also provides a layer of isolation from other tenants sharing the same server.
Even though virtualization offers a nice balance between price, performance, security, and scalability, VPS still has downsides. Since you are using the same server, load spikes caused by other tenants can affect your server and cause reduced performance or downtime. Because your data is not physically isolated from other tenants, it presents a security risk if another virtual server gets exploited by a hacker.
A good reason why you need a bare metal server is that they eliminate all of the aforementioned concerns: physical separation from other servers provides a superior price-to-performance ratio along with the increased security of having your data hosted on a separate server.
What are the Benefits of a Bare Metal Server?
Here are 10 bare metal server benefits:
One of the most important benefits of bare metal servers is the level of customizability they offer, including the choice of the operating system, technology stack, and firewall configuration.
Similar to dedicated servers, bare metal servers provide the advantage of being physically separated from other servers, meaning that the server owner is the only one using its resources. This allows for better performance, improved security, and uptime.
While bare metal servers come in limited, predefined configurations, they offer the benefit of being instantly available upon request, while dedicated servers can take up to 48 hours to build.
If you want to focus on building your website without waiting for your server to be built, you definitely need a bare metal server.
Bare metal servers also provide the advantage of root access to the server, allowing tech-savvy owners to change the server configuration and install software according to their needs, which provides unparalleled levels of customization.
Physical separation from other tenants (along with the ability to change the firewall settings based on your application’s needs) allows for additional security not found on VPS or shared hosting.
With bare metal servers, you can adjust the hardware according to your needs. Whether your application requires more CPU cores for faster data processing or more RAM and bandwidth for handling more connections, you can select the configuration that best suits your needs — all with a very simple and predictable billing model.
In case your bare metal server starts struggling to keep up with your website’s performance demands, you can easily scale up to more resources with only a few clicks from your user interface. While upscaling the server is one of the benefits of bare metal servers, you can also downscale the server in cases of low traffic.
The option to quickly upgrade or downgrade your server based on your current performance requirements is why you need a bare metal server. While dedicated servers do offer this option, it takes significantly more time.
No Noisy Neighbor Effect
Unlike VPS and shared hosting, increased load on other servers will not reduce performance or cause downtime on your bare metal server.
If you don’t want other tenants to affect your server performance, you should consider using a bare metal server instead.
Easy Server Management
Even if you are a tech-savvy user, one reason why you need a bare metal server is their easy management and the time they can save you if you need to scale up to a server with more resources.
Bare metal servers are physical machines in a data center, which makes management and hardware upgrades incredibly easy compared to other solutions like shared hosting.
Better Customer Support
Most hosting providers, like Liquid Web, have dedicated teams that handle bare metal servers, allowing for better customer service and 24/7/365 troubleshooting of issues that might arise with custom configurations.
What are the Cons of a Bare Metal Server?
Those thinking about choosing to host on a bare metal server should consider the following:
While high customizability can certainly be a good thing, it also comes with increased complexity, which might not suit all users. Having lots of choices when it comes to different configurations also means that it’s going to take more time and resources for you to set everything up. However, as bare metal servers can be deployed instantly, you will be able to start setting them up immediately without waiting for their provisioning.
While adding more resources to physical servers is relatively easy, they still offer limited growth compared to other solutions. If you are expecting growing traffic on your website or application, a bare metal server might not be the right choice for you.
Higher Entry Const
While they do offer the best performance and customization, bare metal servers come with higher entry costs compared to shared and VPS hosting. Still, bare metal servers more than make up for this with their dedicated resources and high customizability.
Choose Bare Metal Servers at Liquid Web
Featuring the latest Intel Xeon CPUs and lightning-fast SSD storage for maximum performance along with industry-leading support available 24/7/365, Liquid Web offers a wide range of bare metal cloud servers and private cloud servers.
Contact us to order your bare metal server today.
Dwight is a 3rd year IT student that is passionate about computer hardware and pretty much everything electronics-related. In his free time, he builds PCs and plays guitar for fun.
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